This lively 15-day itinerary around Greece features too many activities to list, from boating excursions and tours of ancient ruins to waterfall hikes and wine tastings. The journey begins on the mainland with sightseeing in Athens, a visit to Olympia — the site of the first Olympic Games — the fabled Homeric city of Mycenae, and more. Then you'll take off on an island adventure, starting with a ferry ride to Santorini, known around the world for its spectacular beaches and sunsets. Wrap up the trip on Crete, dividing your time between Heraklion and Chania as you discover the island's caves and coastline.


  • Sightsee in Athens, the capital city of Greece
  • Day-trip to the idyllic car-free island of Hydra
  • Visit the ruins of Olympia, the original site of the Olympic Games
  • Swim and sunbathe at Santorini's famed Red Beach
  • Explore the gorgeous scenery of Crete
  • Enjoy a Greek wine tasting in Heraklion

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Sightsee in Athens Athens
Day 2 Learn About Mythology in Athens Athens
Day 3 Day-trip to Hydra Island  Athens
Day 4 Visit Mycenae & Nafplio Olympia
Day 5 Tour Olympia & Hike to Waterfalls Galaxidi
Day 6 Learn About Ancient Traditions in Delphi & Amfissa Meteora
Day 7 See the Monasteries of the Meteora Spilaio
Day 8 Explore Mountain Scenery Athens
Day 9 Continue to Santorini Santorini
Day 10 Relax on the Red Beach Santorini
Day 11 Travel to Heraklion Heraklion
Day 12 Visit the Cave of Zeus & Attend a Wine Tasting Heraklion
Day 13 Go on a Self-guided Tour of Chania Chania
Day 14 Chill Out on Elafonissi Beach  Chania
Day 15 Depart Chania - End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Sightsee in Athens

Monastiraki Square and Sunset over Plaka
Monastiraki Square in Athens
Welcome to Athens! In the afternoon, get out for some sightseeing. Those interested in history and mythology might choose to visit the National Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the Ancient Agora, or the Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos. View fine art at Benaki Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, or the National Gallery. You could also go off the beaten path at the Museum of Cycladic Art, where you can buy truly unique souvenirs, or the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology. You'll overnight in the city. 

Day 2: Learn About Mythology in Athens

The Parthenon at the Athenian Acropolis
Today you'll get a crash course in Greek mythology. Experience the ancient stories surrounding you with today's guided mythology tour. You'll meet your guide and storyteller at the Temple of Olympian Zeus, then head to landmarks around the city, including the Acropolis, the ancient cemetery at Kerameikos, and the Agora. The city's myths will accompany you as you go, with stories of Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, Dionysus, and more. Hear the stories themselves and the historic facts behind them, adding resonance to the archaeological ruins you'll visit during this four-hour tour.
Enjoy another guided tour at the Acropolis Museum in the afternoon. Named one of the ten best museums in the world by National Geographic, this modern museum houses a multitude of artifacts removed from the hill of the Acropolis for safekeeping to provide insight into ancient religious practices and daily life. Linger for lunch in the museum's cafe, with views of the artifacts' former hilltop home. As night falls, you may be able to visit the Athens Observatory to learn about the constellations overhead and take a look through the telescope.

Day 3: Day-trip to Hydra Island 

Hydra's colorful port

Step back in time and enjoy a full-day excursion to the island of Hydra. Filled with art and home to the great Leonard Cohen, car-free Hydra oozes charm with its cobbled streets, authentic stone houses, and traditional taverns. From the port of Piraeus, you'll board a hydrofoil ferry and cruise through the Saronic Gulf. As soon as you step foot onto Hydra, you'll recognize the island's allure. The Greeks built the main town amphitheatrically, adorning it with secluded squares, 18th-century mansions, old captains’ homes, churches, wells, and marble-covered lanes. As a result, the island's leisurely daily life hardly feels like the 21st century, as the locals transport everything by mule, cart, or hand.

Whether on foot or on horseback — you'll have the choice between them — enjoy exploring the main town, admiring well-preserved mansions, monuments, and museums. Then, stroll along the waterfront, discover local neighborhoods, and wander the picturesque alleyways that seem never to stop twisting and turning. Finally, learn about Hydra's history and how it played a crucial role in the Greek Revolution of 1821. The island's inhabitants banded together with the Spetses and Psara, leading the revolution by sea. After your ride through town, you'll return to the harbor to board one of the island's famed water taxis, the easiest way to reach the island's best beaches. Foremost among these is Plakes Beach, equipped with sun-loungers and umbrellas, where you'll be heading for hours of fun in the sun and the crystal-blue sea, as well as a delicious lunch at the seafront taverna right at the water's edge. Your day will end at a family-run pastry shop that's famous for a local treat known as amygdalota, made from almonds, and for its rich and delicious homemade ice cream. Head back to Athens in the late afternoon.

Day 4: Visit Mycenae & Nafplio

The Lion Gate in Mycenae
Today you'll tour the fabled Homeric city of Mycenae, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — and once the capital of one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Start your adventure into antiquity by walking under the famed Lion Gate into ruins that are part history, part myth. Follow in the steps of King Agamemnon as your guide explains the stories behind the imposing ruins of the citadel. You'll then head towards the historic seaside city of Nafplio, where a delicious lunch awaits you in one of the best restaurants in town. This romantic town, the old capital of modern Greece, is characterized by Venetian fortifications and a beautiful waterfront. After lunch, you'll visit local craftspeople, including a potter and a weaver at work in their workshops, to discover how they carry the traditions of the past into the present. You’ll also see a number of other local crafts and goods and a confectionery where traditional almond pastries are still made the way they were generations ago.
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From Nafplio, the trip will take you through the beautiful Peloponnesian countryside towards ancient Olympia. Along the way, you’ll stop at a honey farm to learn about world-renowned Greek honey from a working beekeeper. Spend the night in Olympia before heading out to tour the city on day four. 

Day 5: Tour Olympia & Hike to Waterfalls

The Millenia Tour: Ancient Olympia & Galaxidi Day 2
Walking around the ancient ruins of Olympia
This morning is devoted to Ancient Olympia, the most important athletic, religious, and political center of the ancient Greek world. Here your guide will let you into the secrets of the temples, the training area, and the original stadium where the ancient Olympic Games were held for centuries. The Archaeological Museum onsite displays world-class masterpieces and treasures, like a breathtaking statue of Hermes and the infant Dionysus sculpted by Praxiteles.

Then it’s time for an outdoor adventure and a memorable lunch. After an easy guided walk through a stunning gorge, you'll arrive at a pair of waterfalls. Your lunch will be served picnic-style, right by the river. You’ll have the chance to swim too! After leaving the waterfalls, continue to Galaxidi, where you will spend the night.

Day 6: Learn About Ancient Traditions in Delphi & Amfissa

A view over the valley of Amfissa

Today you'll head to the regional capital of Amfissa, where Greece's last handmade bell-maker will show you how livestock bells have been forged by hand in his family for generations. Afterward, stroll through the cobbled streets of the old leather-tanning district. Here, in one of Europe's last remaining tannery workshops, you’ll see what a tanner’s working life was, almost unchanged from a century ago up to today. Enjoy lunch under the shade of the large tree in the town square, where you will taste local delicacies prepared in the village.

After lunch, it’s off to Delphi, where you’ll marvel at the ruins of the Temple of Apollo and the Athenian Treasury. You’ll have plenty of time to soak up the magical scenery before visiting the Delphi Museum, home to some fine examples of ancient Greek art, including the world-famous bronze statue of the Charioteer of Delphi. Head north across the mainland towards the Meteora. A few miles before reaching your destination, you will have dinner in a traditional family-run restaurant in the foothills of Mt. Koziakas. You will spend the night in a charming family-run guest house in the pretty village of Kastraki, right under the towering rocks of the Meteora.

Day 7: See the Monasteries of the Meteora 

The Meteora at sunset

Today's highlight is a visit to the Meteora, a stunning natural phenomenon featuring enormous sandstone columns formed millions of years ago. These remote rock skyscrapers became dwellings for Christian Orthodox monks; by the 14th century, large monastic communities were flourishing on the summits of many of these rocks. Today, six monasteries are still functioning, and you will visit two. 
After lunch, you'll visit a local icon painter. In his tiny workshop, you’ll have the chance to learn about the tradition and make your own miniature painting. Then it's a stop at the small but original Book Museum, where you'll get to try your hand in Greek penmanship and hear out about Greek classrooms of the past. Continue onward to the little-known Forest of the White River, a group of small mountain villages hidden in the depths of a massive forest. 

Day 8: Explore Mountain Scenery

The Millenia Tour: Greek mountain scenery Day 5
Mountain scenery in Greece
Leaving Athens after breakfast, discover the beauty of the countryside with a swim at a river spot known only to locals. Then stop in a small monastery nearby that's rarely visited by tourists. Sample Greek coffee and homemade yogurt at a farmhouse overlooking the valley. Then it's off to a nearby winery to taste the area’s best wines, cheeses, and cold cuts before lunch at a local tavern. You'll eat like a local, savoring wild mountain greens, juicy lamb ribs, and other regional specialties. Enjoy the mountain scenery on the drive back to the capital city.

Day 9: Continue to Santorini

Sunset in Santorini
Sunset in Santorini
Catch a ferry to Santorini. On arrival, you'll take in the island's central caldera — the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history — rising above you. The island's volcanic history has led to the formation of some of the most unique beaches in the Greek islands, along with the dramatic cliff views on the island's caldera side. Spend your day relaxing at the beach or strolling on one of Santorini’s scenic walking routes. For dinner, sample the island's signature cherry tomatoes and white eggplant, typically served as side dishes with fresh seafood. 

Day 10: Relax on the Red Beach

Colorful scenery on the Red Beach

In the morning, visit Prophet Elias Monastery, the highest spot on the island. Take a break for lunch before heading to Red Beach, one of the most scenic and interesting beaches on Santorini. In the afternoon, you'll have the chance to sample wines at a local winery nearby. Finish the day with a sailing cruise at sunset with dinner served onboard the boat.

Day 11: Travel to Heraklion

Heraklion harbor
Heraklion's harbor

Bid farewell to Santorini and get ready for another fascinating island — Crete! Take the ferry to the port of Heraklion. In the afternoon, you'll visit Heraklion's Archaeological Museum, with one of the largest collections of Minoan artifacts in the world. This is an excellent crash course to prepare you for the site you'll visit tomorrow — the 3500-year-old Palace of Knossos, a sprawling maze of royal chambers, grand staircases, storerooms, and workshops. This evocative Bronze Age site is believed to be Europe's oldest city. Have a relaxing meal in a beachfront restaurant before tomorrow's excursion.

Day 12: Visit the Cave of Zeus & Attend a Wine Tasting

The Palace at Knossos
The day starts with a guided tour of the Palace at Knossos. Next, you will journey to the mountainous East Crete and the Dikti Mountains with your guide. You will visit ancient Cretan villages, engage with locals, and take in views of the region's stunning landscapes. Break for coffee under an ancient tree in the traditional village of Krasi before touring the Cave of Zeus. On the trip back, you will visit a family-owned traditional ceramic workshop and a Byzantine monastery. Finish the day with a meal in an authentic Cretan tavern.

Day 13: Go on a Self-guided Tour of Chania

Chania's Old Town Harbor
The harbor in Chania's Old Town
Chania is the second-largest city in Crete and one of the most scenic spots on the island. Discover this former Venetian city today, including its charming 14th-century harbor, narrow streets with winding alleys, and colorful architecture influenced by past Ottoman and Egyptian eras. While you're exploring the area, don't miss the elevated neighborhoods of Topanas, Splantzia, Kolombo, and Kasteli — great for panoramic harbor views, Cretan taverns, and architectural history. You can see the ruins of the Minoan city of Kydonia and high walls of former Venetian moats integrated into the city. Other highlights include the Municipal Market of Chania, the neighboring Municipal Garden, and the Botanical Parks and Gardens of Crete. Finish the day with sunset drinks on the rooftop at one of Chania's bars overlooking the town and harbor below.

Day 14: Chill Out on Elafonissi Beach 

A trail along Crete's coast
On the way to one of the most amazing pink sand beaches of the world — Elafonissi Beach — enjoy the beauty of Western Crete, with its dramatic panoramas, deep gorges, and sea caves. Before reaching Elafonissi, stop at the Monastery of Panagia Chrisoskalitissa (Our Lady of the Golden Step), a hilltop Orthodox monastery with a stunning view of the Libyan Sea. When you finally arrive at Elafonissi, you will notice how the lagoon blends together with waters from the Mediterranean and the Libyan Sea. Relax on pale pink sands, swim in shallow, clear waters, and finish the excursion with a seafood dinner in a locally run restaurant. 

Day 15: Depart Chania - End of Trip

Photo taken by Victoria P
An idyllic beach on Crete
The trip comes to an end today. You'll head to the airport to catch a flight out. Safe travels!

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